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Here’s What It’s Really Like to Be an Introverted Teacher


This is What It's Like to Be an Introverted Teacher

I am an introverted teacher, and I am proud. Although sometimes (when there is a full moon on Friday the 13th), I feel like I am in the wrong profession. Our personality traits dictate how we respond to various daily teacher events and tasks. We are polar opposites to our colleagues, the extroverts, and the differences are, well, hysterical.

1. We don’t like small talk during our planning periods.  

Introverted teachers drop off their students, close and lock their doors and sit and stare at the ceiling for the entire first half of their planning periods. We need to recover from the emotional toll teaching takes out of us in utter and complete silence. 

Simultaneously, extroverted teachers drop their students off and then stop a teacher in the hallway to chat and before they know it, it is time to return to pick up their students.

2. Introverted teachers are a big “nope” on socializing after school hours.

It’s not personal when we decline our co-workers’ invites to grab drinks after work. We’re simply drained by 4:00 and need to spend our evenings recharging. If you are able to bribe us into actually attending, we will be ready to head home and slip into our jammies within thirty minutes.

Extroverted teachers, however, may be found standing on a table leading everyone in “Sweet Caroline” at the karaoke machine. They are usually the ones that have to be told to go home at the end of the night.

3. We don’t want to be your “twin.”

#Sorrynotsorry, introverted teachers dread spirit days. We will wear our holiday or school t-shirt as a substitute for wearing full hair and make-up. It’s something at least.

Meanwhile, extroverted teachers think that these are the very best days of the year. They go to extremes and often outdo their students with their hand-made costumes they whipped up just for the occasion.    

4. We’re terrified by the idea of having to make a phone call to parents.

Introverted teachers hate when parents write notes saying to give them a call. We turn on “Eye of the Tiger” to work up enough nerve to dial the phone, and then pray the parent doesn’t pick it up.   

Extroverted teachers, on the other hand, end up swapping stories about their college days and by the end of the phone calls, they have new Facebook friends.

5. We like to eat alone.

An introverted teacher will make a plate and tiptoe out the back door returning to our classrooms to eat in peace during staff luncheons.

In contrast, extroverted teachers announce to everyone in the staff lounge which dish they prepared and every ingredient in the recipe. They may have printed tiny copies for everyone.

6. Teacher evaluations keep us awake ALL NIGHT LONG!

We lay awake at 1:00 in the morning analyzing every word that was said during our evaluation conferences. ”I wonder what they meant by that!” or “I shouldn’t have said that!” are thoughts that frequently interrupt the sleep of an introverted teacher.

Concurrently, extroverted teachers walk away from their evaluations saying, “I knew it. I totally nailed it.”

7. Extrovert teachers terrorize us at staff meetings.

Introverted teachers nod their heads in agreement and take notes about everything the speaker is saying. If we have a question or comment, we will wait for the Google survey and let it all out then.

Our extroverted buddies make it their mission to make us break from our loyal obedience in concentration by whispering inappropriate jokes in our ears.

8. We practice for open house for weeks.

Introverted teachers make our families sit through a dry run of our presentations so we can practice. We also have every word that we are going to say written out on a Powerpoint to get the attention off of ourselves.

Meanwhile, extroverted teachers don’t need any visuals. They work the room like Jerry Seinfeld performing at the Improv. They are at ease being the center of attention.

9. Angry parents make us cry.

Introverted teachers rush to our cars after school before we open up the floodgates and let the tears escape. We are sensitive and wear our emotions on our sleeves.  

Extroverted teachers, on the other hand, usually have the angry parents holding back their own tears by the end of the meeting.   

10. Our weekends are for recharging.

Introverted teachers use the weekends to refresh. We like to curl up with our animals and do absolutely nothing. Pure heaven.

Extroverted teachers, however, are on the go attending and hosting parties and doing anything they can to be with people their own age.  “Party” is their middle name.

Although our differences are obvious, teachers share many similarities. We love our students and stretch ourselves every day to be the best teachers we can. Our “teacher hearts” are the same, and that is what matters most.

Are you an introverted or extroverted teacher? Tell us in the #teacherlife community.  

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Angela Barton

Veteran Member

Angela is a veteran kindergarten teacher. When she’s not teaching or writing, she can be found thrifting or spending time with her husband, daughters and two Maltese dogs.

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